Working as a cashier in a supermarket or other trade is a great opportunity to gain professional experience and learn to develop good relationships with customers, especially when it's your first job! You'll probably go through training, but how will you be able to start your first official day without creating a mile long line and still make people's day better? Remember the obvious, how to be on time, but read the tips in this article to find out a little more about the area.
Method 1 of 3: Providing Quality Customer Service
Step 1. Smile and be polite to customers who pass by the checkout
If you're having a tense day, leave problems at home and be polite on the job, even if the customers aren't. Smile and greet each person who passes by the checkout. You don't need to push the envelope, but the customer will leave the market or the store much happier if you're kind (even if you're not so agile). Just don't chat with anyone at the wrong time!
If you're not in a good mood, at least disguise it. Force a smile, make eye contact and have respect for everyone
Step 2. Ask how the customer's day is going
Make eye contact and listen carefully to what each person says. Thus, the person leaves feeling respected and will probably go back to shopping at the market or in the store. Also, try to vary the way you greet customers so you don't look like a robot. Hear "Good morning!" it's fine, but not when it's forced and automatic.
For example: imagine that you asked the customer "Was the weekend fun?" When another person arrives at the checkout, comment "The weather is crazy, huh… Have you been under the sun all day?". Then wave and smile when you get the answer (if appropriate, of course)
Step 3. Ask for help if there are more than six or seven people in line
Most supermarkets and stores have a specific protocol for when a checkout line gets too long. If it happens to you, ask the manager or another cashier for help and don't try to get them all quickly.
- For example: say something like "I need help in cashier 'x'. Can someone open another cashier?".
- If only one cashier in the market is working, other employees may have to open new cashiers to alleviate their burden. In that case, let the queue build up to ten or 12 people before asking for help.
Step 4. Don't keep talking to colleagues when there are people waiting for assistance
No customer likes to be served when the cashier talks through the elbows with other employees. Remember, you're at work and it's not okay to goof around. Leave to chat when appropriate.
- Still, you can chat with colleagues when there are no customers in line or during breaks. Always be professional and avoid talking about controversial or tense subjects.
- Don't complain to customers while you're at the market or in the store.
Step 5. Indicate some additional products to customers
Cashiers are often the last employees of a store that customers interact with. In other words: they have the last opportunity to indicate certain products that people want. If you have a good indication to make, quote it to whoever stops by your checkout, even if it's a discount for buying a larger quantity of the same item.
- For example, if the customer has purchased crackers, say "We have a brie cheese that goes really well with these crackers!"
- You need to know the stock of the market or store well to recommend certain products. So familiarize yourself with as much as possible in the first few months.
Step 6. Stay calm and professional and help even angry customers
You will certainly run into customers who want to return a product that they are dissatisfied or in a bad mood. One of your functions at this time is to remain calm, help solve the problem and not lose your composure. For example: it doesn't hurt to say "We're sorry for the inconvenience".
- Call the manager if the situation gets out of hand (if the customer gets angrier and even makes a scene). He will be better prepared to solve everything.
- Also, ask the customer questions and suggestions rather than giving directions. For example: say "Can you accompany me to the returns office?" instead of "Come with me to the returns department".
Method 2 of 3: Opening the Cash Register and Handling Cash
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the market's computer system for swiping customers' purchases and cards
You will spend most of your routine at the market or in the store passing products through the system and accepting payments from customers. No matter the type of system - electronic or traditional - it's important to know how to do the basics with each person who shows up. If your computer is sophisticated, learn to navigate the menus so you don't get confused.
Participate in training courses that your superiors offer. Most stores train new employees before they actually start acting
Step 2. Memorize key search price codes to save time
If you work in a market, your manager will ask you to memorize the search price codes so you don't have to search for every item (even more so when the queue gets long). Ask if there is any physical worksheet that you can consult for now and memorize the most important codes little by little.
- Each code is associated with a specific product.
- If the market does not have an inquiry sheet, make one at home.
Step 3. Familiarize yourself with the market cash register system
If the cash register has shortcut buttons for certain amounts and bills, such as $5.00, $10, or $20.00, get used to using them. Train hard when you're free for the first few days and ask a more experienced colleague to see if you're doing everything right.
It is also good that you speak large purchase amounts (above R$ 50.00) out loud for a colleague to hear. If there's any confusion or the customer says they paid an even higher amount than what you say, it's easy to prove otherwise
Step 4. Ask the customer for the payment method
After going through all of the customer's purchases, ask: "What is the form of payment?". Those paying with cash will have to look for some change in change, while those paying with a card will have to enter the password and wait for the transaction to complete. In the meantime, keep everything in bags.
Depending on the store's computer system, you may have to enter the payment method into the machine
Step 5. Count the change in front of the customer so you don't make a mistake
When the queue isn't long, count the customers' change in front of them. This way, you will run much less risk of making mistakes. Also, always try to say the amount out loud, such as "Here: 10, 25, 85 cents change".
If the queue is long, be quicker and only count change if the person insists
Method 3 of 3: Learning to Follow Store Protocols
Step 1. Ask the manager to explain the store's policies to you
As you are new, it is important to familiarize yourself with store or market policies as soon as possible. Keep track of what products are in stock, what will arrive, and how returns work. For example, does the store negotiate item prices to beat the competition? Know all this to provide a more complete and factual service to everyone.
You'll get in trouble with customers and even the manager if you give wrong information about opening hours or other store details
Step 2. Strictly follow the store's dress code, including mandatory garments
Most stores have a specific dress code, even if they only include an accessory or two. In the case of markets, many cashiers have to wear an apron or a uniform shirt, but have more freedom with the rest of their clothing. On the other hand, if you're going to work in an upscale store (such as a clothing label), the rules can be a lot stricter.
Talk to the manager if you have a problem with the dress code (if clothing is inappropriate, for example). Depending on the reason, he will understand
Step 3. Develop skills that you will have to put into practice from time to time, even if not every day
For example: even if you only sell gift cards every two or more weeks, it's still good to memorize the entire procedure, as well as knowing what to do in case of minor setbacks (if you give the wrong change to the customer, but it's already closed the cashier etc.).
This sort of thing is not part of normal training for new cashiers. If so, ask your manager or a more experienced colleague for guidance
Step 4. Ask the manager if there is any manual to guide employees in rare situations
This manual will be your main source of information for the most unusual situations. You probably won't be able to memorize everything, but at least it's good to know how to act on major occurrences.
- Take a look at the manual at least to know what to do in each situation, such as when the power goes out or the customer's card doesn't pass.
- There are also unusual situations, but they do happen, such as when a stray animal enters the store or there is some confusion between customers.
- Working as a cashier in a store or a market is a great opportunity to meet new and interesting people! Not only will you interact with multiple customers every day, but also make friends with colleagues.
- Talk to the manager about putting a jar in the cashier for customers who want to tip. It is not common in Brazil and in certain professional areas, but it may be acceptable in your new job.
- If you don't have a lot of prior experience, see this opportunity as a chance to get more confident in the world of work - after all, you're going to have to talk and interact with a lot of people every day.